March 14, 2012
By Ethan A. Huff
“Why are people taking fluoride pills to begin with? That just makes no sense. Who knew there was even such a thing.” –KTRN
More than a dozen families in New Jersey were shocked to learn recently that some of the supposed fluoride pills they had received from a CVS/pharmacy in Chatham were actually tamoxifen pills, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer. ABC News reports that an unknown error resulted in some of these families administering this chemotherapy medication to their children rather than the fluoride pills, a monumental error that could have life-threatening consequences.
The Chatham CVS/pharmacy in question may have been dispensing an unknown amount of chemotherapy pills in fluoride prescriptions for at least the past two months, which is why the pharmacy is attempting to contact all families that ordered prescriptions for 0.5 milligram (mg) fluoride tablets within the past 60 days to notify them of the potential problem. Meanwhile, an investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the mixup.
“CVS/pharmacy has industry-leading pharmacy systems and processes designed to enhance the safety of the prescription filling process, including inventory controls that keep similar-looking medications in separate areas, such as fluoride tablets and tamoxifen,” alleged CVS Caremark in a recent statement about the issue. “We are actively investigating this matter to determine how the mistake occurred in order to take corrective actions to prevent this from happening again.”
February 9th, 2012
By: Josh Levs
About 40 students at a university in New Jersey have been taken to hospitals for treatment after an outbreak of what authorities believe is the norovirus.
The Rider University students, at the school’s campus in Lawrenceville, were brought to hospitals late Wednesday night, the school said Thursday.
The suspected outbreak comes a week after an outbreak began at nearby Princeton University, which is still under way, officials said.
“We are coordinating treatment information with that university. We have also informed neighboring institutions,” Rider said on its website.
Norovirus is a highly contagious illness that is often called stomach flu or food poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States.
The most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Most people get better within one to two days.
Rider officials worked with health authorities throughout the night “to identify ill students in the residence halls and treat them either on site or send them to area hospitals,” the school said.
Some of those taken to hospitals have been discharged and returned to campus.
People who get the virus are contagious “from the moment they begin feeling sick until at least three days after they recover,” the school said.
February 1, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“How could anyone think that fluoride in the water is a good idea? It’s madness.” –KTRN
Despite numerous studies showing the danger of fluoride and cities and municipalities deciding to no longer poison their citizens with the neurotoxin, officialdom in New Jersey has moved to add it to the state’s water.
Disregarding the warnings of environmentalists and utility officials, New Jersey’s Health Committee, at the behest of Assemblyman Herb Conaway, a Camden Democrat, has required the state’s water companies to add fluoride.
Prior to the move, New Jersey was one of nation’s least fluoridated states, with 1.1 million of its 8.7 million residents living in communities that add the toxin to the public water supply. Forced fluoridation in the remainder of the country is at 70%.
Increasingly, state and local governments are calling for a reassessment of fluoride in drinking water. For instance, in October, commissioners in Pinellas County, Florida, voted to end the seven-year practice of putting fluoride into drinking water.
In fact, even the United States government has called for lower levels of water fluoridation following a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, which found that increased fluoride consumption led to decreased IQ in children, Andre Evans wrote for Infowars.com in November.
The case against fluoride only gets more persuasive. Earlier this month, we reported on groundbreaking new research that has linked sodium fluoride to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. The research revealed that fluoride stimulates the hardening of arteries, a disease commonly known as atherosclerosis.
Previous studies have linked fluoride to brain and neurological damage. It is also “indicative of a potential for motor dysfunction, IQ deficits and/or learning disabilities in humans,” Dr. Phyllis Mullenix noted in 1995. Numerous studies conducted in China, India, Iran, and Mexico have determined that fluoride exposure is associated with IQ deficits in children.
January 18, 2012
New York Post
By Mary Kay Linge
Big Brother is joining the battle of the bulge.
A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock.
The athletics chair for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits in a bid to combat obesity.
The information is displayed on a color-coded screen and gets transmitted to a password-protected Web site that students and educators can access.
The devices are already in use in school districts in St. Louis and South Orange, NJ — and have raised privacy concerns among some parents and observers.
But Ted Nagengast, the Bay Shore athletics chair, said, “It’s a great reinforcement in fighting the obesity epidemic. It tells kids, in real time, ‘Am I active? Am I not active?’ We want to give kids the opportunity to become active.”
The monitors are distributed by Polar Electro, of Lake Success, LI, the US division of a Finland firm.
In the South Orange-Maplewood School District, where earlier versions of the devices have been used for two years, upper-grade students’ marks in phys ed are based in part on heart-rate monitors and activity sensors.
Teachers use hand-held computers to collect data from each student’s wrist monitor during class, then upload the information to the school computer system for storage and long-term tracking.
But privacy advocates and parents worry that schools are using electronic monitors in phys ed without families’ knowledge or consent.
January 16, 2012
By Mike Adams
The Dual Ridge Metal Boutique tissue boxes sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond stores have been discovered to be radioactive. Made with the extremely dangerous material used to blast cancer tumors with radiation — cobalt-60 — they emit gamma rays that are known to cause both cancer and infertility. They were manufactured in India, shipped on a commercial container to New Jersey, and then distributed to Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in 20 states.
How much radiation do these tissue holders emit, exactly? Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre said, on the record, that standing near one of these tissue holders for 30 minutes a day would expose you to the equivalent of “a couple of chest X-Rays” each year. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency went even further, issuing a release stating that every 10 hours spent near the product would expose you to the equivalent of one chest X-Ray.
In case you were wondering, a chest X-Ray is not a small dose of radiation.
Ever since Fukushima, the corporate-run media has downplayed the risks of radiation exposure, and now they’re claiming that these radioactive products are “no big deal” because they “only” expose you to the equivalent of multiple chest X-Rays each year.
What if a customer has this on their nightstand, near their head, and they’re sleeping next to it for 8 hours a night? That means they’d be getting nearly the equivalent radiation of a chest X-Ray each night for 365 nights a year!
January 11, 2012
By Cindy Galli
Montana farmers have filed a class action suit against former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, charging that the failed financial firm run by Corzine stole millions from their accounts to pay off its spiraling debts, and that Corzine’s “single-minded obsession” with making MF Global a big player on Wall Street led to the firm’s collapse.
MF Global’s clients included 38,000 wheat farmers, cattle ranchers and others who “hedged” their crop prices by placing millions in MF Global accounts. Those accounts were supposed to be “segregated and secure,” according to the federal suit, meaning MF Global could not draw on those funds.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of all 38,000 customers, alleges that when MF Global made a series of bad investments — notably in European debt — it began “siphoning funds withdrawn from segregated client accounts” to cover its debts.
“This is a suit by the real victims of MF Global,” said plaintiff’s attorney Mark Baker of the law firm Anderson, Baker & Swanson. “The missing funds were not investments in MF Global, or loans to MF Global, but rather the customer’s own money as collateral to guaranty their contracts. They were not to be used by others – let alone their own broker – to speculate on risky and exotic securities.”
December 12, 2011
By Paul Joseph Watson
“It’s like ‘War of the Worlds’ all over again, but this time it’s much more serious. What was Verizon thinking?” -KTRN
An unannounced test of a soon to be mandatory emergency alert system caused panic in New Jersey today after Verizon customers received text messages warning them that a “civil emergency” was in progress and to “take shelter,” prompting alarmed citizens to flood 911 lines with anxious calls.
However, media reports concerning the alarm completely ignore the fact that Verizon was almost certainly running a test for the federal government’s soon to be mandatory PLAN alert program, which the company has signed up for.
“A mass text message warning New Jersey cell phone users of a “civil emergency” was sent out by Verizon Wireless earlier today,” reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Verizon Wireless later apologized to its customers for causing alarm.
The alert message included the text “U.S. Govern,” suggesting to customers the text had come from the federal government itself, which undoubtedly fueled the panic.
Residents in three different counties received the message, titled “Emergency alert seek shelter by 1:24 p.m,” which was not labeled as a test. Police departments and country authorities fielded four times the usual number of calls, many of them from distressed citizens who wanted to know whether a real emergency was in progress. “There is no reason to panic here,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “It is a false text done maliciously today at 12:27 p.m.”
The Department of Homeland Security was also forced to put out a tweet confirming that there was no emergency after concerned citizens also turned to Twitter for advice, saying they were, “scared and didn’t know how to react.”
October 4, 2011
By: Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, and Alexander Burns
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, most likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race.
Christie has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference in his state’s capital, where he’s expected to announce that he will not seek the presidency. Two sources said he has started informing people of his decision in advance of his Trenton press conference.
“He is not running,” said a fundraiser informed of the decision. “Mary Pat and the gov just called tier one [donor] group to say he was out.”
The first-term governor, who has repeatedly ruled out a White House bid over the past year, indicated new openness in recent days to a possible run.
Christie would have been favored to win an enormous amount of support from national Republican power brokers who to date have been dissatisfied with the Republican field.
His stature had been effectively keeping a cadre of major New York and New Jersey contributors on the sidelines as they awaited his decision. Now his would-be financial backers may feel pressure to choose between the field of declared Republican candidates, which is unlikely to grow at this late date.
Christie’s decision leaves the Republican nomination fight as a choice between two front-runners — Mitt Romney and Rick Perry — who are both seen as flawed in the eyes of many party regulars.
“This decision will likely settle the field for the remainder of the campaign,” said Republican presidential campaign veteran Terry Nelson, who advised Tim Pawlenty’s bid earlier this year. “Without Christie in the race, Romney can continue to focus on Perry without having to worry about his left flank.”
Christie is the latest in a long string of Republicans whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd has looked to as a potential alternative to Romney, who to date has been unable to gather critical mass behind his bid.
The list of 2012 prospects who have been courted only to rebuff the efforts includes South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Wisconsin Rep. and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
There is one more national Republican figure who has not clarified her 2012 intentions: Sarah Palin.
But unlike Christie, Palin has no beachhead within the party. Two-thirds of Republicans said in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday that they hope the former Alaska governor does not run.
Still, after Christie announces his plans, Palin, the 2008 vice presidential nominee, will be the only national Republican figure who has not said definitively what she’ll do in 2012.
Among many in the national Republican political class, there’s deep skepticism about whether Palin could be the seismic presidential force she might have been a year ago.
“We will see what Palin does, but no one is really clamoring for her the way they have for people like Christie or Daniels,” Nelson shrugged.
There have been other recent points in the race — when Daniels opted not to run; when Ryan briefly reopened the door to a campaign before slamming it again — when the GOP field has appeared to be set.
While Christie’s reconsideration of a presidential run briefly changed that, by declining a bid, he’s left uncommitted Republicans with no apparent alternative candidate to Romney and Perry.
June 2nd, 2011
By: Statehouse Bureau Staff
Facing broad criticism for flying by helicopter to watch his son’s high school baseball game in Bergen County, Gov. Chris Christie refused today to refund the state for Tuesday’s $2,500-an-hour flight.
“The governor does not reimburse for security and travel,” a spokesman for the governor, Kevin Roberts, said in an e-mail message. “The use of air travel has been extremely limited and appropriate.”
The State Police said the flight taken by Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, had presented “no additional cost to taxpayers.”
That didn’t stop a horde of Democratic legislators — and even some conservative commentators — from denouncing the use of the helicopter by a governor who has become widely admired for his insistence on fiscal austerity.
Christie flew from downtown Trenton to Montvale, where his son Andrew was playing baseball for Delbarton, his high school team. He stayed five innings before getting back into the helicopter, accompanied by his wife. From there they flew to Princeton, the police said, for a dinner at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion, with a group of wealthy Republican donors from Iowa who were in New Jersey to try to persuade Christie to run for president.
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) chided the governor today for what she called his “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
“I can’t remember how many times I had to skip political events because my children had games or school activities,” Vainieri Huttle said. “Leaving in the fifth inning to meet with wealthy Iowa political donors says something about the governor’s priorities. Perhaps his presidential courters can help him foot the bill so our taxpayers aren’t on the hook for such perks when he is calling for sacrifice.”
Even a conservative talk show host from Fox News, Greta Van Susteren, added to the stream of criticism. She took to her blog to question why the governor had used the helicopter.
“In these very, very difficult times for most Americans, it looks really bad when a politician is spending (or appearing to be spending) taxpayer money in lavish ways,” Van Susteren wrote.
Amid the flak, State Police Supt. Rick Fuentes issued a statement saying the pilots would have been in the air training even had they not been ferrying the governor and his wife in the new $12.5 million helicopter.
“Therefore, there is no additional cost to taxpayers or the State Police budget, nor is there any interference with our daily mission by adding the state’s chief executive to any of these trips,” Fuentes said.
The use of state helicopters by governors of both parties has been a flashpoint for decades. But the practice has been to reimburse the state for flights not related to official business. In 2002, the Democratic Party paid the state $18,200 for 14 flights by Gov. Jim McGreevey that were deemed political or personal, including one to a wedding.
Gov. Christie Whitman repaid the state when she took a police helicopter to a New Jersey Devils game at the Meadowlands.
According to Fuentes, Christie has traveled on the state’s helicopter 35 times since taking office in January 2010 — far less than previous governors — including trips to survey flood and storm damage. The dates and locations of those trips were not made public.
“As part of our long-standing security protocol, the EPU (Executive Protection Unit) provides secure, protected travel by vehicle in the overwhelming majority of the governor’s business and personal travel, except in those rare instances when the governor’s schedule warrants use of air travel,” Fuentes said.
A State Police spokesman, Sgt. Stephen Jones, emphasized that pilots are constantly logging hours in the new helicopters and would probably have been flying even if the governor had not been aboard.
“The destinations might be different,” Jones said. “But they’d be logging flight hours — flying over rail systems or transportation hubs or ports or chemical or nuclear facilities.”
As for Christie’s use of a car to get the 100 yards from the landing site to the ball park, which was ridiculed by Van Susteren and others, Jones said the cars were there for the governor’s safety.
“If the helicopter got called away for a higher priority mission, then the governor would be transported to his next location on the ground,” Jones said.
January 19th, 2011
By: Abigail Field
When New Jersey tightened its rules for foreclosures in response to the crisis over false loan documents, it took the unprecedented step of ordering the six largest servicers — Ally Bank/GMAC, Bank of America (BAC), Citibank (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and OneWest — to explain why they should be allowed to continue with their foreclosures. If any of them couldn’t adequately justify itself, New Jersey would suspend all the foreclosure actions by that bank in the state and appoint a special master to investigate its past and proposed processes.
On Jan. 5, the banks responded, and in essence each said: Look judge, we’re good guys committed to keeping people in their homes whenever possible, and while we admit that in the past we had problems — teeny-tiny problems — we’ve fixed them already.
Most of the banks’ briefs then argued, with varying degrees of aggressiveness, that the court doesn’t have the power to impose a foreclosure moratorium or appoint a special master because that would break court rules, violate New Jersey’s Constitution and the U.S. Constitution — including the banks’ due process rights — and overstep the judiciary’s role. They also claimed it was generally wrong because the banks were regulated federally. Only Chase declined to challenge the court’s authority to impose the moratorium or appoint a special master.
However strong these challenges to a potential moratorium and special master may be, the irony of banks arguing that halting foreclosures would break court rules and violate their due process rights is richer than New York cheesecake. After all, the banks’ actions in the foreclosure process have systematically involved documents that break court rules and violate homeowners’ due process rights, which is what led New Jersey to act in the first place. Irony aside, the banks are essentially saying: If you suspend our foreclosures or appoint a special master to investigate us, we’ll sue to stop you.
Although the banks vigorously assert that their document problems never led them to foreclose wrongly and that their records are in impeccable shape, they do admit to errors in their documents, at least to some degree.